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Baby Arrives Right On Time, But in the Back of an Ambulance

Laci Kroger says she's thankful for the Riverhead EMTs who helped bring her daughter into the world during a quick delivery that started roadside.

Rachel Morello, the EMT who delivered Malinea, holds her again on Monday with Paramedic Ray Bonner at Melinea's house in Calverton. Credit: Joey Oliver
Rachel Morello, the EMT who delivered Malinea, holds her again on Monday with Paramedic Ray Bonner at Melinea's house in Calverton. Credit: Joey Oliver
Laci Kroger enjoys walking — even after a snow storm, when she's nine months pregnant and it's her due date. The Calverton woman made it about four-and-a-half miles when her water broke on Saturday afternoon. 

Kroger and her boyfriend, Corey Mims, were on Sweezy Avenue, when the ambulance was summoned to take them to the hospital at 3:23 p.m., Riverhead Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chief Joey Oliver said.

The emergency medical crew arrived about five minutes later to find Kroger leaning up against an SUV belonging to a man and woman who Mims had flagged down. The crew loaded Kroger into the back of the ambulance, only to realize she was crowning. There was no time to even start transport, Oliver said. 

Malinea Martinez Mims arrived at 3:32 p.m. 

"I didn't know what to think," Kroger said as she recalled how Malinea's birth unfolded on the side of the road with the crew, who visited her at home in Calverton Hills on Monday evening. "I'm very, very thankful for all you guys."

Kroger, who has two other children, said she knew the labor might be fast — just not that fast. Her first son, now 14, took 32 1/2 hours to arrive, but her second son, now 4, came in just a half-hour, she said. 

Malinea, however, took just two pushes. 

Once she arrived at Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead — with a police escort — she weighed in at 6 pounds 9 ounces and measured 19 1/2 inches long. 

EMT Rachel Morello, a Miller Place resident who volunteers with Riverhead ambulance, actually delivered Malinea. Though it was her first delivery as an EMT, she knows a thing or two about giving birth — she's the mother to 6-year-old twins. 

"Mom was happy and healthy and so was the baby. The mom did all the work. We were just there to support her," Morello said.

Kroger may have been happy to meet her first daughter, but she said the pain was intense. 

"I'm surprised you're not bruised," Kroger said to Ray Bonner, a paramedic who works for Riverhead Ambulance and has delivered 15 babies in the course of his 25-year career. 

"She has a good grip," Bonner laughed. 

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